More than 20 counties affected by drought in Kenya
As increasing numbers of Kenya's pastoralists migrate from Majira county to Garissa in search of pasture and water, and leaders call for the Kenyan government to declare the current drought a national disaster, Guyo Malicha Roba, head of the Jameel Observatory in Kenya, discusses the devastation of the current drought in comparison to previous decades on pastoralist livestock, livelihoods, and health. Although Kenya's drought, which began in the 1960s, increased in frequency and severity in the 2000s, the current wave is unique. Five consecutive rainfalls have failed, and the next one forecast for March-April is also expected to be below-optimum, leaving pastoralists little time to recover between drought shocks. The effects include a significant loss of livestock - the core livelihood of pastoralists - the malnourishment of almost one million children, and food insecurity for large numbers of the northern Kenya population. Dr Roba argues that the current aid infrastructure does not cover the scale of the issue, which is compounded by global financial instability and inflation that are driving food price rises and food shortages.